15 Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas
Teacher Appreciation Week was May 6 – 10. I hope you told your favorite teachers how much you appreciate them and didn’t just wait until this designated time of year.
However, if you wanted to do something special for a teacher and couldn’t do it in time, below are some excellent ways to acknowledge the educators in your life - anytime. (I am directing a lot of these ideas to older students, maybe high schoolers, but this guide is just as useful for parents of elementary and middle schoolers.)
- A Heartfelt Thank You Letter or Card
A sincere “Thank You”, written or spoken, is always, ALWAYS appreciated. Be specific – tell them something how they did for you, something they said, even something you heard they did for someone else, made your day a little better.
This isn’t lip service. Really express how much you appreciate and more importantly, respect, your teacher. This article from The Washington Post explains this is so important.
- Gift Cards
You can’t really go wrong with these. They are just too easy to buy, so there’s no excuse. Buy them online. Buy them while grocery shopping (right in the check out line). Buy them at Target, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, BJ’s, Costco. Practically anywhere you shop in person or online, gift cards are probably the easiest and most convenient gift of all to purchase.
This may be more appropriate if you know your teacher a little better. If they actually like flowers, and will at least attempt to maintain them, this is another easy one, especially with flower delivery services like 1-800-FLOWERS. (Hint: Ask them what their favorite flowers are.)
- Edible Arrangements
Instead of flowers, give your favorite teacher a bouquet of healthy fruit, topped off with a cute balloon or teddy bear. Often the fruit can be dipped in chocolate!
- Instead of Flowers
Even better than flowers or fruit, how a fully cooked gourmet meal? It is the perfect gift for new moms, to say get well soon, thinking of you, condolences, congratulations, happy birthday, happy anniversary, or just simply bon appetit. You can select a specific meal, or even better, select Recipient’s Choice or Gift Certificate so your teacher can select their own meal.
- Teacher/Classroom Supplies
Ask your teacher to set up a wish list on Amazon.com (https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/search), or offer to set one up for them. They can treat it like a registry of sorts, selecting all the items they want for their classrooms. You can send this link to friends, family, colleagues, etc., and they can buy the items and have them shipped directly to the teacher.
This is another easy gift you can buy practically anywhere, in person or online, even better if you do it locally at a farmer’s market or pop up shop. Stay away from strong fragrances. Go with a light and breezy floral or linen scent.
This is one my favorites on Amazon, the Further candle: https://amzn.to/2DFzoPt
These are not nearly as old fashioned as you think, especially if your teacher likes to light candles, incense, or oils. You can buy them in the picnic/paper goods aisle in your local supermarket or online via our Etsy store. With our 11” matchboxes in particular, they come in plain white boxes, so you can personalize them. Write their name or even a catch phrase, like CARPE DIEM!
These are more appropriate for teachers that you know very well or maybe you even live in the same area of town. Your time and/or talents will be required. These ideas are meant for older, mature students, maybe even college freshmen or sophomores.
- Volunteer Your Time in Their Name
Find out what nonprofit organizations or causes your teacher supports and offer to volunteer your time in their name, if applicable.
- Make a Donation in Their Name
Similar to the above idea, find out what nonprofit organizations or causes your teacher supports and offer to make a donation in their name. You could also match a donation that the teacher has already made or will agree to make at the same time as you.
- Offer Your Time for Something They Need
What kinds of easy-ish things could you take off your teacher’s plate this summer? Are they married with children? Perhaps they could use a long overdue date night, and you could babysit the kids. Or if they already have a babysitter, perhaps you could chauffeur them to their spot. Are they going on a long vacation and need someone to check the house, or maybe even house-sit the entire time? Is your teacher looking to overhaul their wardrobe, and you have a keen fashion sense? You could be their personal shopper or stylist for a day.
You could even do this for someone in their family or social circle who desperately needs it but can’t afford it, or doesn’t know someone who can do it. You can offer your services on your teacher’s behalf.
- Help Them De-Clutter or Handle Their Recycling for Them
This is more useful if your teacher’s residence doesn’t have recycling pick up. If your teacher is willing to organize their own recycling, you can simply pick it up and take to a recycling center for them. Or, take it one step further – organize and remove their recycling from start to finish.
- Interview them for StoryCorps
StoryCorps gives people of all backgrounds, typically two at a time, the opportunity to record meaningful conversations and archives the recordings at the Library of Congress. Recording a StoryCorps interview couldn’t be easier: You invite a loved one, or anyone else you choose, to one of the StoryCorps recording sites to share a 40-minute conversation. Their office is located inside of the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead, but if you’re not able to go there, or get to another recording site, you can use their app and make a plan to record anywhere.
Another way to do this is to setup an interview between your teacher and someone in their family, or someone they admire. Either offer to record it yourself via the app, or even drive them to a recording site.
- Be Their Social Media Manager for a Month
Does your teacher have a part-time side hustle or even a full-fledged small business? They may or may not be the best at marketing or social media, whereas you probably can walk them through the finer points of Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat, Tumblr, and more, while half asleep. Either do this for free or nearly free. You’ll help your teacher’s business get the brand awareness and social reach that it needs while developing a legit skill for your own resume (or future business endeavor).
- Go on a Random Acts of Kindness Outing
Schedule time with your favorite teacher to pay it forward in your community.
- Go on a Starbucks binge, paying for the car behind you.
- While at your local supermarket, buy $10 gift cards, and strategically leave them throughout the store.
- Pick up trash in your local park.
- Hold the door open for as many people as possible.
- Bypass a premium parking spot or two.
- Here are some more ideas: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas